LiveCareer Blog

How to Balance an Internship with Your Course Load

School is back in session, and this fall, you may be taking on a job or an internship. Here a few tips that can help you balance your internship or job with your course load.

The fall semester has begun! If you are in the final years of your education, you’ve probably nailed down an internship or a part-time job related to your area of study. And, you may find yourself balancing your work demands with your fall course load, which can be tricky. Here are a few moves that can help you make the most of both learning opportunities.

Be Transparent About Your Schedule

Starting on day one, make it clear to your employer that you’re taking a full or partial load of courses this fall. Don’t try to hide or gloss over this fact. Explain up front that you’ll be juggling multiple responsibilities. Tell them that you may occasionally need to put your classes first. Don’t worry about jeopardizing your internship or job – more than likely, they’ll be accommodating.


When you’ve got a lot going on – with school and with work – prioritization is key. Should you try to multitask and do everything at the same time? Nope. That’s a dead end, and more often than not, “multitasking” leads to incomplete projects and shoddy results in both endeavors. Instead, be sure to prioritize your tasks one by one, with your coursework coming first. Tackle each one individually, finish it, and then move on to the next. You’ll be glad you did.

Make a List

Don’t try to keep your obligations straight without writing things down. You’ve reached the age at which you will learn the value and beauty of a well-crafted To-Do list. This lesson will benefit you for the rest of your life.

Don’t Take the Easy Way Out

If you find yourself relying on artificial props to get you through the day, something is wrong and it’s time to pull back and regroup. These props including anything you know to be unhealthy. This includes drinking, medication, stimulants, excessive sleep, no sleep, energy drinks, junk food, or spending time with toxic people. We can’t provide a comprehensive list, but we can say this: if it feels unhealthy, it probably is. And if you find yourself saying “But I need it,” you probably don’t.

Pace Yourself

Do one thing at a time, solve one problem at a time, and tackle one complicated and difficult day at a time. Don’t live the entire year in a single bound. You’ll get through this—and you’ll gain a great deal from the experience—if you set a steady pace and keep your feet in motion.

For additional help with your workplace and career challenges, turn to the tools available on LiveCareer.